White Hart

Market Place, Castle Combe, Wiltshire SN14 7HS (01249) 782295

Like many couples, we like nothing more than enjoying a relaxing lunch out, whiling away the hours exploring the countryside.

So on Sunday we headed out to rediscover Castle Combe and enjoy lunch at The White Hart.

The pretty, quintessentially English country village is full of character and was once a key player in the woollen industry, producing the Red and White “Castelcombe” cloth.

The pub is a quaint stone building with a bar, restaurant, pool table and garden.

It offers a range of meals as well as the traditional Sunday roast which, although an appealing option at a reasonable £6.75, we rejected for something lighter.

My partner Mike chose a sausage and onion doorstep sandwich (£4.65) and a plate of cheesy chips (£2.25), while I went for a French Brie ploughmans (£6.95). We were both pleased to be offered a choice of white or brown bread.

Within 15 minutes our plates arrived piled high with food. I don’t think I have ever seen doorstep sandwiches so huge – they were almost a meal in themselves and packed with tasty, flavoursome sausages that were well-seasoned and covered in juicy red onions. Equally the chips were crisp and the cheese was deliciously melted all over them.

My ploughman’s was also huge. Along with two large slices of brie, were pots of butter and pickle, pickled onions, doorstep slices of bread, cheese and poppy seed crackers, an apple and bunch of grapes. Packed next to this was a flavoursome salad that looked freshly prepared with a variety of leaves, sweetcorn, cress, red onion, olives, cucumber and tomato.

I have found that the danger with a ploughman’s can be that you end up with rock solid butter, sweaty cheese and a limp bit of lettuce as a token effort for a salad.

No danger of that here - there was so much food on the plate there was no way I could have finished it. And, if there was one criticism of our visit, that was it. The portions were so large that we were far too full to even contemplate pudding.

If we had, there were a number of choices, ranging from a Dutch apple pie to a white chocolate cheesecake. All sounded delicious and cost a reasonable £3.45 each.

Our bill came to a very reasonable £18.15, to include a mineral water and lager.

Beer garden and courtyard

Real ales

No car park. The nearest public car park is half a mile away.

Favourite with locals and more informal than the other village centre pub

Disabled access, although may need help with step

Our Eating Out is an independent review carried out by the Gazette without prior knowledge of the owners.